3 games against the White Sox Monday through Wednesday nights, and 3 day games against the Cubs Friday through Sunday.
Orioles come in after salvaging a game against Cleveland, who pretty much held the Orioles in check, taking two of three, by keeping the team with the most home runs in baseball in the yard. The Orioles don't do small ball, and when teams can keep them from hitting home runs, they really struggle. With Sale and Quintana pitching the first two games, it won't be easy for the Orioles.
The Orioles run to the largest lead among division leaders has been led by pitching. Since early June, the starters have really been good. Bud Norris and Chris Tillman will start the first two games - Norris has really had success against left handed hitters with a change up low and away. Tillman had slow start problems early in this year where he'd give up a lot of runs early before remembering how to pitch. Likes to work low and will go for the strike out with a high fastball.
The Orioles come in a little banged up. Adam Jones and JJ Hardy have had thumb problems, and I wouldn't be surprised if Jones drops a bunt during this series. Manny Machado strained a ligament in his left knee and is out; you may see Chris Davis or Ryan Flaherty play third during this series.
I know the White Sox have this years best first baseman in Abreu. The Orioles had last years best first baseman in Chris Davis, and he has had a miserable year, hitting below the Mendoza line. He has been pull happy and upper cutting badly, plus there have been rumors that he has had lingering oblique problems beyond what took him to the DL in May. The key for Davis is making contact - he is so strong, he can hit the ball out to all fields. He had two opposite field doubles yesterday against Cleveland, which may be taken as an abberation or an encouraging sign.
I don't think any one thought that Davis was going to hit another 50 homers this year, but for him to play so poorly has been eye opening. If he can regain his form heading into the playoff season, that would be huge for the Orioles. But it wouldn't surprise me to see him get a day off against one of the White Sox lefties this series.
Anything this ex-Chicagoan should know about the Sox play as of late?
Lets have some good, well-played games.